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October 1999

Wind, rain, and ice keep up-the-hill racers on their toes

Janice Coen (MMM) shows no strain as she sails into a first-place win.

Russell Rew (UCAR) is ready to catch the Bundt. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)

Jeff Boote and daughter Randi Sue, age 5, on a trailer-bike. Randi Sue was heard spurring Dad on ("Come on! Come on!") as they overtook Becky Ruttenberg at the middle of the hill.

ACD visitor Cindy Nevison puts on the speed for her final approach.

Dan Packman puts some cheek into it as Alan Fried hands off the ice ring during ACD's dash up the hill.

Andrew Crook (MMM/RAP) shows his winning form for the third year in a row.

The 20th annual up-the-hill races began with gusts of wind and cool spritzes of rain sweeping across the mesa just as the cyclists assembled, but the temperature--hovering close to 70°F--was good for racing. The ice rings passed from hand to hand in the divisional relay races contributed just a bit of extra chill.

In the men's division of the bike race, veteran Alan Hills (RAP) took 22 seconds off his time from last year but was still edged out by first-time racer Arlie Huffman (CGD). Arlie says, "Right at the starting line, I nearly crashed because of my rear wheel slipping on the wet pavement. Fortunately, I managed to recover and stay right on Alan's wheel for the first 200 meters or so. The people clapping and yelling at the top were big motivators, which I greatly appreciated at that stage of the race." GST's Myron McCallum faults the wind for adding 20 seconds to his time from last year, though he moved up from eighth place to third.

Anne-Marie Tarrant reports that she hadn't done much biking in the months before joining NCAR and RAP this spring, but Alan encouraged her to race. "I had a good coach," she says. She also credits RAP coworkers for lending her a bike, bike shoes, and lots of advice. Christine Shields (CGD) saw a repeat of last year's almost-photo finish, as she was again aced out of first place by just 2 seconds. ASP's Judith Berner advanced to third following her fourth-place showing last year.

The men's foot race saw perennial victor Andrew Crook (MMM/RAP) winning first-place honors for the third year in a row and clocking his first sub-8-minute time in eight years. ESIG's Rick Katz, winner of the first up-the-hill race in 1980, cruised in second. Third-place winner Dave Albo (RAP) posted a sub-9-minute time for the first time in six years.

Many seconds were shaved off last year's times in the women's foot race. Janice Coen (MMM) was 33 seconds faster than last year to win the women's division. Race veteran Betty Valent (F&A) took off 44 seconds to improve her finish from fourth place to second. Newcomer Barb Middlebrook (RAP) showed she's a contender with a third-place finish. "This is my first year here," says Barb, "and I think goofball events like this are what help keep the morale at NCAR high. I had a lot more fun at the up-the-hill race than I usually do at some boring old company picnic."

When ASP decides to field a team in the divisional relay race, look out. As in their 1996 appearance, the team handily won participation (being a small division) and turned in a fast time (being a young division), adding up to their second win. Wearing ASP bibs, the team kept their ice ring intact and broke the 6-minute barrier, only to be caught in the final 500 meters by ACD. The ACD team clocked the fastest time since 1990, which, coupled with 20% participation, translated into second-place honors. RAP combined fleet speed and high participation for a third-place showing.

Despite the intermittent rain showers, Food Services served up a scrumptious spread to hungry racers and cheering spectators. •Becky Ruttenberg, RAP, with Zhenya Gallon

Complete race results are at the EAC Web site.


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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
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